A MOTORCYLIST is critically ill in hospital after a crash with a car in Westhoughton.

A Toyota Corolla and a Yamaha motorbike crashed in Wigan Road near the junction with Coverdale Road, Westhoughton, at 11.20pm last night.

The 39-year-old motorcyclist, believed to be from Westhoughton, suffered life threatening injuries and is said to be in hospital in a critical but stable condition.

The driver of the Toyota, a woman, was not hurt.

Cllr Christopher Peacock, for Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, said: “Like all straight roads, there will be people breaking the speed limits.

“The current government have changed the rules regarding speed cameras, because some people thought of them as a cash cow, so it is virtually impossible for a local authority to put a new one in.

“All we can do is remind people that they must obey the speed limit at all times.

“I actually think the most problematic area of Wigan Road is the long stretch through Hart Common.

“I don’t know how this happened but we all hope the cyclist is ok.”

Liberal Democrat town councillor and former member of Bolton Council’s planning committee Cllr

David Wilkinson added: "This is nothing new. Wigan Road is a dangerous spot, because people are driving down it too fast.

"If you come out of any of the surrounding roads, you put your life into your own hands.

"There needs to be a safety review of the area. I've asked for safety features to be included between Southfield Drive and Cricketers Way, but nothing was done."

Residents in the area said that, while the incident was tragic, it did not surprise them.

A resident of Wigan Road, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I didn't hear anything but last night, but you hear bangs round here all the time. 

"We have petitioned and petitioned and petitioned and petitioned for speed cameras on this street. There are so many accidents and I'm getting quite sick of it. 

"I'm not surprised someone has suffered serious injuries on this road and I don't think many other residents will be either."

Jeffrey Heaton, aged 52, of Broad Walk, which is opposite Coverdale Road, said: "I was taking my daughter to school when I saw the sign up saying an accident had happened.

"Something should definitely be done to make Wigan Road safer. There was talk about a pelican crossing and that never materialised.

"The bends are too narrow and there's been a few accidents. It's happened too much round here."

Any witnesses are asked to call the police's serious collision investigation unit on 0161 8564741.